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English: a Glance Back

April 12, 2010

The immediate second preceeding the moment I first typed the letter ‘t’ of this post, I completed the last literary work of my entire high school career. It hasn’t really hit me, my reactionary feelings towards this.

I’m sorta happy because this means no more nightly reading of literature sometimes on the brink of my comprehension and interest (not even possibly referring to this year’s Heart of Darkness…)

However, as my English teacher/life coach Ms. Wood has been reminding us, this semester is about rapid movement through thresholds of academic and emotional/life importance. This is one of those thresholds that I cannot avoid passing. My time is nearing it’s end.

So before I put this chapter of my academic life upon the shelf (and to help review for IB test essays) I want to go back to some of my most vivid English experiences:

FRESHMAN YEAR

It all began with Madea. Girlfriend just had to be difficult. Looking back, I was a fool not to have read it, especially under the circumstances. My first ever reading assignment for Honors English was to have that measly play read by the first day of school. I had three months. Did I read it? Nope. In my thoughtless freshman mind, I figured I could skate by without having read it, and still make an A with my awe inspiring middle school essay writing skills.
That was before I recieved my paper back. A big fat 67. Awakened to this cruel reality, needless to say I buckled down. I read every other book that year, and pulled my stunted grade up to my average 87. I was proud. ‘cept girlfriend Madea still needs to clean herself up. Oowee.

My other vivid memory of freshman year was Julius Caesar. Wonderful play by a wonderful man. I get it. But by this point, I had had enough of this play! Two years prior I went to this theatre summer camp where we did the show. The next year, we did the show (well, actually a forty minute cutting where my friend Caty played Antony and Julie played Brutus. Type casting I say) at my middle school. Now, freshman year, for the third time, Julius Caesar. ET TU BRUTE ALREADY! If there is anything a 14 year old boy hates is seeming redundancy in work. I felt I didn’t need to try hard with it at all because I had done it twice. I knew all there is to know, right?
Well, it turns out when you cut a Shakespearean five act tragedy into forty minutes, a little bit of plot is also cut. Word to the wise: read everything you are told and never think you are above the system. Needless to say, before the semester exam essay over the play, I crammed harder than I ever had before. I was confident that my essay would get a 100 and bring my average up to a 92. However, I was too busy doing hard hitting analysis to check for correct diction.
My teacher, Ms. Armstrong, had a seeming personal vendetta with personal pronouns. To ingrain into our minds their use was uncooth, she would take off ten points for each use. I was a culprit of two. However, I was that tiny one percent who is screwed by the rules. My first use was in a rhetorical question closing the essay. I believed it was deep and thought provoking. Obviously my creativity was a mistake. My second was not found within the essay: it was in the TITLE. I can handle and own up to minus ten for the previous, but really? In the title?!?!? The titles weren’t even necessary for the program, just something they wished to add.
Being the kind student I was, I did not object. It was Christmas break, and I was mostly concerned with optimal snowboarding times.

More to come on this subject later. I have a job interview tomorrow and I need to be well rested.

Until next time,

~T

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